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News from the FRB Brewhouse 4/1/19

April 1st, 2019 Posted by 0 thoughts on “News from the FRB Brewhouse 4/1/19”

What’s Releasing this week:

We are happy to report that as of Friday 4/5 Blazing Paddles American Wheat is BACK on the FRB Tapwall!

What’s Brewing this week:

3/25 Siren of the Shenandoah Hefeweizen

What did our week look like? 

        • Brewday preparation for our Siren of the Shenandoah Hefeweizen then brewed the next day.
        • Cleaned more kegs! Stocked the to go can refrigerator. You all are thirsty!
        • Sanitized the Brite Tank and moved Canoe Capitol IPA over to “Flair” (Brite Tank) for carbonating.Cleaned/CIP’ed “Thundercat” (Fermenter)
        • Kegged off Gizmo (Serving Tank). We put the last of the Lost Tree Orange Ginger Saison into Kegs. 
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed “Gizmo” (Serving Tank)
        • Kegged Canoe Capital IPA and moved some to a serving tank. (Gizmo)
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed “Flair” (Brite Tank)
        • Worked on some details for our National Homebrew Day for May 4th /Cinco De Mayo/May the 4th Be with You… Weekend Event that we are planning. Applied for VA BC Banquet License so we can do tastings and have FRB Beer outside. (More details to come on this soon)
        • Worked on some details for creating our new FRB Annual Membership Program that we will be releasing in June. Applied for VA BC Banquet License so we can do invite our Brewery Friends to help us have a mini Beer Fest outside. (More details to come on this soon)
        • Researched some new beer that we plan on releasing in the Fall.
        • Dropped and Harvested yeast from the Knight of the Valley and Friendly Confines Fermenters.
        • Worked with our amazing Neighbor’s at Art in the Valley on some new artwork for labels for a new beer that we have planned. https://artvalleyva.com/
        • Made some plans for our first Craft Beer Fest of 2019. April 6th. Imbibe Fredericksburg, VA. https://www.imbibeva.com/ This one looks to be super cool!
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed and Sanitized “Chopper” (1BBL Brite Tank)
        • Transferred our Trail Series #11 Sabro/Citra IPA over to “Chopper” for carbonation and conditioning.
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed “R2D2” (1BBL Fermenter)
        • Kegged Trail Series #11 Sabro/Citra IPA
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed and Sanitized “Chopper” (1BBL Brite Tank)
        • Had Manager Meeting with FRB General Manager, Kitchen Manager, President, VP, and Entertainment Booking Manager.
        • Worked on our next VA ABC Product Approval submittal
        • Transferred our Blazing Paddles American Wheat over to “Flair” for carbonation and conditioning.
        • Cleaned/CIP’ed “Megatron” (Fermenter)
        • Had a tasty Trail Series #11 Sabro/Citra IPA!


    Questions for me? 

    Are there any questions that you might have about the Brewing Process or running a Brewhouse? I’d be happy to hear them and possibly answer them for you in my next post. Please feel free to email me at tarndt@frontroyalbrewing.com

    Can’t wait to see you all in the Tasting room this week for a tasty beverage!

    Cheers,

    Tim Arndt, Head Brewer Front Royal Brewing Co.

Rappahannock Cellars Port Wine Barrels, Sabro Hops and much more!

March 25th, 2019 Posted by 0 thoughts on “Rappahannock Cellars Port Wine Barrels, Sabro Hops and much more!”

What’s Releasing this week:

• A fresh batch of Canoe Capital IPA comes back on tap Wednesday!

• Get ready for what is releasing this coming Friday: 3/29 Trail Series #11 Sabro/Citra IPA 73 IBU’s 6.4% ABV (From FRB’s Small Batch 1BBL Pilot System)

What’s Brewing this week: 

• 3/22 ESB Trail Series #8 Extra Special Bitter- ESB 5.1% ABV: 4/12 Release date.

• 3/25 Siren of the Shenandoah Hefeweizen

 

What is happening in the FRB Brewhouse this week?

I get asked a lot on what a normal brewhouse schedule looks like from a day to day standpoint on days that we might not be brewing. So here is some insight on what all took place last week while we were busy working hard to get our Customers some amazing beer in their glasses: 

  • We Cleaned Kegs
  • Carbonated and Kegged some Tenfold Double IPA (Now available on Tap and in Cans to go)
  • Canned some of our Rappeller Irish Red Ale and The Craic Irish Stout: Available now for $15 a 4pack 16oz cans.

    The Craic Irish Dry Stout

    Rappeller Irish Red Ale

  • Kegged some small batch Skeleton Tree Roggenbier and Cleaned Chopper (Our 1BBL Brite Tank)
  • Prepped for our ESB Extra Special Bitter Brewday by sanitizing R2D2 (One of our 1BBL Fermenter Tank), Weighed out and milled the grains, Weighed out the water salts and hops.
  • Went out to Rappahannock Cellars in Huntly, VA. and picked up two awesome 53 Gallon Port Wine Whiskey Oak Barrels from the amazing Theo Smith, Rappahannock’s Winemaker. https://www.rappahannockcellars.com/

  • We then filled those amazing barrels with our Knight of the Valley American Porter. The plan is to Age the Knight in these Port Wine Oak Barrels for a special Bomber release in the Late Fall/Early Winter.
  • We took apart all the stainless pipes that connect our HLT (Hot Liquor Tank) to our Mash Tun and Boil Kettle and did a deep cleaning, replacing all the gaskets.
  • We brewed up a small batch pilot of our Trail Series #8 Extra Special Bitter- ESB 5.1% ABV and got it into R2D2 where it’s fermenting away as you read this for a potential 4/12 release.
  • We did brewday prep for our next Brewday on the 10BBL System for brewing up the next batch of Siren of the Shenandoah Hefeweizen.
  • Sabro Hops

    Our special release this Friday: 3/29 is our Trail Series #8 Sabro/Citra IPA (From FRB’s Small Batch 1BBL Pilot System). What makes this IPA so special is the Sabro Hops. http://www.johnihaas.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/HAA_Sabro-HopSheet_041818.pdf Sabro was previously known as HBC 438. Sabro is a relatively newer hop that is starting to take the Craft Brewing Industry by storm and features a neomexicanus heritage.

Sabro is a true indigenous North American grown hop. Neomexicanus is a distinct sub-species of the hop family. It’s been growing wild in the mountains of New Mexico for the past million years.

Sabro exhibits an intoxicating and complex blend of fruity and citrus flavors. It is described as an intensely unique hop, notable for its complexity of fruity and citrus. It has a distinct tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit, and stone fruit flavor.

Sabro is a strongly expressive hop that translates its flavor well into beer and gives a versatility that lends itself to many styles, particularly hop-forward beers. It seems to be a hop variety with an incredibly unique aroma and flavor profile.

Alex Barth, CEO of John I. Haas (Whose breeding program brought back the resurgence of Sabro) states: “Aside from its wonderfully complex and unique flavor profile, we also love the fact that this new hop is more genetically diverse. If part of your heritage includes the desert and mountain environments of the Southwestern US, you have a strong survival spirit in your genes – the essence of sustainability.”

Sabro/Cirta IPA Trail Series Brew

I have chosen to pair the Sabro with Citra in what should make for an interesting and tasty IPA. I expect the Sabro to show up with a complexity of fruity and citrus flavor that is only intensified by the Citra Hops. An aroma of distinct tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit. Our standard FRB IPA backbone will provide some malt to balance. 73 IBU’s 6.4% ABV

Are there any questions that you might have about the Brewing Process or running a Brewhouse? I’d be happy to hear them and possibly answer them for you in my next post. Please feel free to email me at tarndt@frontroyalbrewing.com

Can’t wait to see you all in the Tasting room this week for a tasty beverage!

Cheers,

Tim Arndt, Head Brewer Front Royal Brewing Co.

Transition: Homebrewer to Professional Brewer & How to become a Brewer

March 18th, 2019 Posted by 0 thoughts on “Transition: Homebrewer to Professional Brewer & How to become a Brewer”

What’s Releasing this week:

3/22 Skeleton Tree Roggenbier 6.1% ABV (From FRB’s Small Batch 1BBL Pilot System)

What’s Brewing this week:

3/22 ESB Trail Series #8 Extra Special Bitter- ESB 5.1% ABV: 4/12 Release date.

 

Transition: Homebrewer to Professional Brewer & How to become a Brewer


It happens a lot. I’m in the tasting room taking a moment to speak with FRB Customers, or at a Beer Festival after pouring a beer for a fest-goer. The most frequent questions that I get from people after they understand that I was a Homebrewer for 8 years, before I became Head Brewer at Front Royal Brewing Co., are “How difficult was it to go from homebrewing to brewing on a professional level?” and “What can I do to become a Brewer?”. 

I always start to answer this inquiry with a smile, knowing that this means, whether they know it or not, that they are genuinely interested in knowing just what the quality of the beer that is currently in their glass. As well as the story is with who made and crafted that beer, and how it all got in their glass. It’s one, if not the most, endearing quality about Craft Beer that helps create a love for Craft Beer & Brewing. If the brewery is doing it right, you pretty much have access to all the storylines that surround the shear struggles and character of each Craft Brewery-and that includes the story that surrounds the Head Brewer.

 

Less sexy than what most think


With the second part to the question, a lot of these people asking this question are asking because they also may have some interest in someday being a brewer themselves. Brewing beer has become romanticized as some glamorous job that in most people’s minds, they just stand around all day and drink beer. It’s not anything like that. Most of the tasting and analyzing of beer comes off the clock. If it was easy, then everyone would do it is what I normally retort with. The hard work every single day, no matter if it is a brew day or cleaning kegs, cannot be skipped or skimped on unless you want to produce beer that is low quality and not consistent.

No one is going to be able to teach you your own work ethic. It’s a learned trait that becomes either a part of your character or it isn’t.  Brewing is a passion career. No amount of schooling is going to instill that passion within you. Real life experience is golden; get your hands dirty, get yourself into homebrewing, and dedicate your free time to learning the craft and see if there is truly a passion inside you for it. Have form successes’ and most importantly have some failures and learn how to correct them.

You need to see if the fire for it gets lit for you and go from there. That is the best thing that you can do for yourself. The day to day work is completely different than what the majority of people perceive it as. It’s a lot less sexy than what most think it is. Then? Then you can look into some of the various brewing classes and certifications that are out there. Without a passion for it, your heart isn’t going to be in it. That is going to show in your beer and the way you run a Brewhouse. See where your own path leads.

Many ways to get there


The other thing that I try to relay to them is that there is no one way to answer the Homebrewer to Pro Brewer question to anyone without first relaying aside from having the passion and drive, there is not just one way, but there are many different ways to get there.

 

My Path

For me, my path to a Head Brewer. I started with being a Homebrewer and dedicating myself to the hobby, spending countless hours brewing in my driveway, fermenting & bottling in my basement, and making every beer style that I could to educate myself.

  • Countless books, podcasts, blogs, brewing conferences.
  • Founding a Local Homebrew Club (Shenandoah Valley Homebrewers Guild) and helping to build a group of like-minded peers to be able to share successes and failures with. http://shenbrew.org/
  • I engrossed myself heavily in running a couple of local Homebrew Competitions
  • Join the American Homebrewers Association https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/
  • Getting my BJCP (Beer Judging Certification Program) Certification, educating myself on off flavors and taking them seriously, what causes them and how to prevent them & learning and using the language to describe them. https://www.bjcp.org/index.php
  • Training my tasting pallet and really focusing on being able to pick out and describe exactly what it is that I’m tasting.
  • Getting my Cicerone Beer Server Certification and Training others to do the same. https://www.cicerone.org/

All that was before I ever thought that brewing at a Professional Level as a Head Brewer was even a possibility. I think as I look back on it all, I would say that I would not be anywhere near as good of a brewer as I am without these key foundation steps in my background. It was an important part of my path and story. Yet this doesn’t even touch the challenges that led me down the path to researching and educating that I took to get myself as ready as I possibly could be.

 

Scale-Up


Understanding and getting your head wrapped around the scale-up of recipes from ten-gallon batches to ten-barrel (310 gallons) batches is not as simple as it sounds. Nothing is a simply one-for-one scale up. I had the amazing opportunity to be able to draw on knowledge and feedback from a lot of fantastic brewers (professional and not). This allowed me to not only ask the silly little questions that I didn’t understand. They let me come into their brewhouse and brew with them. That experience of seeing how they did things in their own way in their own brewhouses was a truly priceless step to my own learning, understanding, and confidence to get to this point.

I use BeerSmith Brewing Software and always have. I knew enough about it to help me dig into the conversion aspects. There are a ton of different settings that you can set up to get it to work with the scaling correctly. brewhouse size, tank dimensions, batch profiles, hop utilization %’s-all of which you must be certain to research and understand where they needed to be and thus set up for proper scaling of recipes.

 

Water Chemistry


By far, the topic I spent the most time researching and getting an education on, was water. Getting my head wrapped around water chemistry was a huge thing for me. I had not really ever concerned myself with it before. (My water as a Homebrewer came from a private community watershed, and a well water system that is great to brew with, with nothing much added.) I learned how to read a water report. Identifying what each number means, what water salts are used for and how they affect your water chemistry. 

Understanding what our water chemistry on Main Street, Front Royal. Then understanding any changes to it are critical to the quality of our FRB Beer. Not to mention understanding the water profile for each beer I wanted. Each beer style that I brew has its own water profile based on a few key characteristics I’m looking for in the finished beer. Balanced mouthfeel, dry aftertaste, smoothness of the bitterness, and/or alcohol, etc.

 

Learning Your Equipment

You still have to know your equipment, understand how it operates, and how you want it to operate. There are many unknowns to it all until you start to gain the valuable experience needed to understand it all. Getting in there and using the equipment, running test after test and seeing just how things react during certain times. Writing up your Standard Operating Processes (SOP’s) for you and your equipment that you expect everyone who sets foot in your Brewhouse to follow. It’s a matter of quality and consistency. It all just takes time to manage the pressure and stress to utilize that time appropriately.

Each Brewer and therefore their Brewhouse has their own character that they put into their beer. It’s a unique and good thing that should help exemplify the passion that the Brewer and their Brewhouse Team have for the Beer that is going into your glass.

 

The very first pints sold at FRB!

 

Reward


One of the most rewarding things that I have experienced is seeing your beer pouring out of taps into a customer’s glass. The enjoyment on their face as they drink and enjoy it over great conversation makes it all worth it. 

 

See you all in the Tasting Room!

 

Cheers,

 

Tim Arndt

Head Brewer

Front Royal Brewing Co.

 

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